Monday, April 27, 2009

Almost There

Hi Friends! That's right this week is the BIG MOVE. We are so excited! Jacob is finally coming to terms with the whole thing and wants to go now. He already packed his Lighting McQueen suitcase with the essentials (book, stuffed animals, blanket and cars). He told me tonight "grandma's house then new house."

We've been busy this weekend and today cleaning, sorting the last of our things, etc. Tomorrow the movers come again for our smaller shipment. Though it seemed small 2 weeks ago, it seems like we left a lot out. I'm sure it's all in my mind. Then tomorrow night we do the last of the cleaning: sweep, mop and by the looks of the weather, probably the windows again.

Wednesday we head to the hotel and Friday we leave. I plan to be MIA for a bit. Enjoying some old friends on the way to my parents, then some much needed family time for us and with my parents.

This past week has felt like the end of high school and college. You know you are done with the exams, you have the grades, you are packing up your dorm room and just waiting to walk across the stage to get that diploma. Though in this case, it's a 15 hour plane ride to the states. LOL!
I definately feel like I have paid my dues here and look forward to the big finale!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Revisiting Scrabooking

Happy Friday! It is a good Friday since next week this time I'll be on a plane back to America :)

Tonight is my last Stampin' Up! Workshop for awhile. Some might think I am crazy to do one tonight with a just a few days left, but I like doing it and I would be home watching TV anyway. The May promotion is awesome! Leave a message if you want to know more. If you like to scrapbook and you like 12x12 paper don't pass it up!

I decided to make a scrapbook page to show tonight to promote the Occassions Mini and May special. As a demo, we get to see product 1 month before it comes out. When I saw this stamp set "Choo-Choo" and it's matching wheel in the Occassions Mini, I knew I had to have it. In case you don't know, Jacob is obsessed with Thomas the Train. This stamp set I actually gave to him to play with and he was not happy when he caught me with it about an hour ago. I used the Textured 12x12 (hint, hint) In Color cardstock in Pacific Point as my base. The rectangles are Real Red and I intend to place pictures there of Jacobs 3rd Birthday which was a Thomas theme. The blobs (could be clouds or puffs of smoke) are Baja Breeze and that is where I will journal. For the bottom border I stamped the trains, cut them out and placed them on Stampin' Dimensionals. If you have a little Train enthusiast at home check out the set. It's a great price too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quilt #2

As you may remember about a year ago I started going to quilting class. In January, we got started on quilt #2. Actually, I think I started in the fall but we took a break with the holidays. Anyway, yesterday I mentioned how I wanted to get a block done before I left. Well, last night I completed one block and got carried way and made a whole row. Of course I took breaks to watch "Lost." I woke up this morning to day 4 (I lost count) of crummy weather and sewing machine was calling my name. I completed 1 more row. If I could, I would continue this all day. I love this part of the quilt when it actually starts to look like something instead of a bunch of squares. At first I though my colors wouldn't go well, but I'm liking the results. My intention in the fall was to make this into a queen size to fit our bed. Now that we have a house, I'm going in a different direction and thinking of making it smaller and for the wall. Perhaps move my Americana theme from the kitchen to living room and hanging this on one on the huge walls. We'll have vaulted ceilings so I know there will be enough room. Decisions, decisions. Hope you like!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We survived the last week

I'm back. What do you think of the new Damask background? The week was crazy. We spent all day Monday prepping for Tuesday's packout. Tuesday came and the packout went great. There were 2 Americans on the team. I like to think that was a good sign. Around 2pm Tuesday the woman who took Rusty decided he wasn't a good fit for her so, she returned him within 15 min. despite my best efforts to get her to wait until after we finished the packout. Then 30 min after that, she came back to get her friends couches just as the loaner furniture arrived. So, we had couches coming in the front door and going out the back at the same time. Some people have no respect for what others are doing. I was pretty annoyed by then the way the whole thing was handled. I'm glad Rusty was returned. He hasn't acted right since he came back which makes me wonder what she did to him. I was exhausted and in bed by 9pm, which is rare for me.

Wednesday Tim went out in town to get Rusty looked at by the Italian vet for his flight on Thursday. This went well. I went to quilting class and almost got 1 block finished. I want a little more done before I leave but we will see.

Thursday we brought Rusty to the airport to got to South Florida where my father-in-law will hold him until we get settled. We had to get the next size down in carrier to fit in the car. We arrived at the airport at 4pm just to be turned away b/c the Italians didn't like the size of the carrier. Mind you, Rusty could stand up and turn around. Needless to say we missed the flight b/c there was no way we could get back to the house and get back within 1 hour before the Alitalia people left. We got home at 4:45 and Tim locked himself in the office to make some calls to the airline. Luckily he got someone right of the bat that spoke English. Rusty would leave on Friday.

Friday, we collapsed the XL carrier and tied it down in the trunk and got Rusty back to the airport. Waited for about 45 min then it took another hour to do paperwork, weigh him, etc. We go to pay and I hand the worker my credit card. "Sorry, we don't take credit cards." What???!!! No one told us this. There are Visa and MC signs up. GRRRRR. . . so we run over to the main terminal and Tim maxed out his daily allotment in euro which left us half a payment short. My pin doesn't work so that left me in a pickle. I went to the currency exchange windsow. It is 11:05 and they open again at 11:15. Why me? As I start to walk away the worker is back. She tries my MC and it won't let me take out money (even if I had to do a cash advance I would do it at this point). Some security feature prevented this option. Ok, that's good now I don't have to get a cash advance fee. Next, try the debit card again. Luckily, by some miracle it allowed the transaction to go through. Thank you God! We now had the proper amount of euro to ship Rusty. Off he went to Miami. FYI: My father in law e-mail us this am and Rusty arrived in 1 piece.

Saturday was spent doing some yard work and stamping with a friend 1 last time. Today, Sunday is pretty calm. Actually to the point of boring. I have stuff to do, just not here in Sicily. I feel done here, just going through the motions and waiting to leave. I've been brainstorming window treatments, wall colors, etc. We got the housing contract this week and will send that back to the states tomorrow. We also got our final travel plans this past week. Even with a few hiccups this week, we still managed to pull everything off that needed to be done.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Next 48 Hours

Happy Easter all! Hope you've had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. We've had a busy weekend which started with the annual Egg-stravaganza on base. This is an event put on each year by the CDC where Jacob goes to pre-school. They have an egg hunt for the different age groups and games/crafts and photos with the bunny. As usual, it was utter chaos. I am so thankful it's our last base gathering like this. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that they have events like this for the kids and to boost moral, but . . .The last 2 years it has been outsided, but due to the possibility of rain, they moved it in the gym. Jacob was in the 3-5 year age group and got 3 eggs, he was thrilled! The older kids in his age group were leaving with a basketfull. I'm sure they had at least 10. After almost getting trampled getting out, we made our way to get a picture with the Easter bunny. That at least went well. I'd post pics but they are in my camera packed away safetly in my bag.

Yesterday morning, we got a wonderful phone call. Someone answered our ad in the paper about our couches and Rusty. Tim and I had come to the conclusion that no one wanted Rusty and we were going to send him on a plane this Friday to Miami for my father-in-law to pick up and hold him for us until we were settled. Then our prayers were answered. In the afternoon the ladies came and 1 got the couches, the other took Rusty. I had mixed emotions seeing Rusty go. Sad to see him go as he and I had that special dog/human bond but happy knowing he wasn't going to have to endure that long flight and stranger on the other end and not seeing us until who knows when, and sad for Jacob as this is the dog he has basically grown up with. Star is still in the states waiting for us but Jacob thinks of Star as grandma and grandpa's. He has asked a few times were Rusty is but then goes on to the next thing. I haven't had the heart to say he has a new home quite yet. Tim dropped some things off last evening at Rusty's new home and all seemed to be going well. So, I hope Rusty is happy and that his new owners treat him well and love him as we did.

Which leads me to today, Easter Sunday. Tim did his changeover with his replacement and he was home by the time Jacob and I woke up! The Easter bunny did a great job hiding eggs. Jacob had a fun time finding all of them. We did very simple baskets this year of some chocolate, books and Pinocchio movie. The rest of the day has been spent organizing, packing clothes, packing items for the next 2 weeks that will then go in our express shipment. The movers come on Tuesday morning and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I'm better then I was almost 3 years ago when we had our packout coming here. At least I know that if I forget something, I'm going back to the states where they have everything I need. We have boxes, sticky labels, tape, markers, . . .I keep thinking I'm going to forget something. The weather has been so wacky here and from what my parents say it's not any better in North Carolina. Hot one day, cold the next. So, I'm trying to pack with that in mind but also knowing I'm going to the South and it will get hot as h@!! in no time. You'd think after moving 4 times I'd be good with it. However, I've learned it never gets easier. I'm faced with the same question: Why have we accummulated so much junk? Do we really need this or that? And when that moving truck comes on Tuesday morning that weird feeling will come over me as I watch all our personal possessions get handled by strangers and packed into boxes and crates knowing we won't see them again until July and hoping everything makes it there safely. I know they are just material possessions but it's still weird to see everything you own go into several large wooden crates.

I'll pop in later in the week with probably my last blog from Sicily. Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekend Happenings

Well, 4 weeks from today we will be in the US. So excited!! Tim is on his next to last set of 4, this started yesterday. I also, decided that Saturday would be our yard sale. Yard sales are usually more successful in Military housing if it is around a pay day. Unfortunately, I hadn't planned out the fact that Spring Break was also starting and many were on holidays to London, etc. I was up by 6:30 and thankfully Jacob slept in until almost 8am which is when the sale started. The Italian workers were the first to arrive as usual. They love our American junk! I didn't have a ton of stuff, but I did have some bulky items like Jacob's play pen, old booster seat, kitchen island, and some 220v tools and other miscellaneous stuff. I had planned to go until 1pm but around 11:40 I was left with just a small box of stuff! And a very nice chunk of change :) So happy to have unloaded all the big things I wanted to. Now we just need to find a home for our couches. Jacob did better than I expected. I was a little worried that by me doing the yard sale by myself he would be a holy terror outside but he was good. Only 2 melt downs over some toys going. He hasn't played with the stuff in ages but when he saw someone take it, that was it. I felt bad but explained it was ok to be sad but another little girl or boy would be very happy with it and he can take his money and go to the toy store when we go to America. This marginally appeassed him. Moves are hard no matter how old we are.

Last night we gathered all the financial info we need to send off to the bank for our mortgage. So fun since we've gone almost paperless with that kind of stuff. We heard back from the realtor and she is sending the contract this week and the house is basically considered ours---yay! So, I waste some of my time looking up decorating ideas on-line.

Today I have some more stuff to organize and do a little decorating for Easter. Dawned on me that Easter is next Sunday, and I haven't put decorations up for Jacob. So, I at least have a basket up now and he is happy. So much for having the holiday stuff packed.

This week we have the painter coming to fix a ceiling area in the laundry room since they didn't show up last week. Housing charges us if we aren't here when the repairmen come but if They don't show up, oh well. Same day we have the moving company coming to look at what we have to pack. I'm sure we'll have more house stuff to read, sign and send.

Have a fantastic weekend and coming week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Moving Forward with the Move

Greetings! Sorry I have no cards to show lately. I've been preoccupied with moving. We've been researching our new area. I've been in contact with an old friend from high school that lives near our new city and she had wonderful things to say. Cannot wait to meet up with her and get our little boys together.

After much research, we decided the best place to live will be a town, just north of Birmingham called Gardendale. I love what I have found so far. The community looks great, very family friendly. The schools are very good for the area and we will be needing an Elementary school in about 2 years. Many churches to choose from. One in particular has a pre-school program with before and after care. Houses are plentiful with low property taxes. I've looked into the children's hospital and am excited for when the time is right to go back to work. Especially after meeting some local nurses here over the weekend and "and talking shop" really made me start to realize there is a part of me that misses working.

Now for the exciting part. . .I think we found a house! I was shocked too that we found one so fast. It's new construction at an awesome price! The realtor sent us photos tonight and we love it! It's huge with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths on a culd-a-sac. Forgot to ask about the sq ft in my excitement. It will be nice to have something that doesn't require major redecorating and repairs. Been there done that. Tim's going to have long work weeks and now that we have Jacob we don't want to be consumed with fixing things. There is a massive backyard for Jacob and the dogs. There is a covered patio area off of the kitchen (I missed that in our last house). I can see sitting out there with cup of coffee watching Jacob play. . . The 4th room is huge which will allow for a play/craft room. The other 2 rooms look to be of average size and the master is quite large with walk in closet and bath with garden tub, jack and jill sink, and shower. The neighborhood has a pool which I think is a must in the south with the hot humid summers. Best part, I don't have to maintain it! The kitchen is beautiful. Just needs a little tweaking with curtains, new light fixture over the kitchen table area and perhaps some color. It has dark cherry cabinets (I've seen this trend or white in most new houses) with a tile backsplash and floor. I like the counters but am not sure what material they are. Above the kitchen island are recessed can lights and 2 hanging shade lights. Pretty neat!

Also this week, we spent 2 hours coodinating our packouts and inspections to move out of housing. Moving out of housing can be an ordeal. Someone comes to see how much stuff you have, then they pack it up. Someone else comes to see what repairs need to be done before you leave. Then you clean everything from top to bottom just to have someone come back approve everything sign-off the paper and leave. So that's what's ahead. Normally most of this isn't left for the last month but because we didn't have a final destination until a week ago we are doing everything at the end. We packout on the 14th and move out on the 29th. Our belongings are scheduled to arrive July 6th. We'll be visiting family so didn't need them before. We fly off the island on May 1st. I'm glad it's all coming together. I hope it continues to go smoothly over the next few weeks.